Phillies: Who gets the last area on the bench?
The Phillies bench is lastly developing into a formidable bunch
After launching Logan Forsythe and granting a roster area to Neil Walker on Saturday, the Phillies have nearly set their bench for the 2020 season.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia says that the team will carry a five-man bench with Jay Bruce most likely to be the beginning Designated Player.
Salisbury believes that energy male Josh Harrison is likely to sign up with Walker on the bench, giving Philadelphia 2 flexible, veteran infielders.
Andrew Knapp is expected to continue as the backup catcher and either Adam Haseley or Roman Quinn will be the fourth outfielder as they get in the season in a platoon function.
Outfielders Nick Williams, Nick Martini, and Mikie Mahtook are not expected to make the team and will either be released, sent to the Lehigh Valley team, or traded.
That leaves one area left for either Phil Gosselin, Ronald Torreyes, or Kyle Garlick on the Phillies bench.
Malvern Prep gad Gosselin has held his own in “summer season camp,” going 5-5 during Thursday night’s intrasquad game. In 2015 he played several positions (short, third and left field) and hit.313 as a pinch player for the Phillies and Reds.
The Phillies do have some flexibility at shortstop with Jean Segura and Scott Kingery must Didi Gregorius go down or require a night off. Having Gosselin’s bat off the bench and glove in the field would help since Harrison and Walker are not equipped to play short.
Torreyes is more known for his defense than his bat despite a career.279 average in 236 games. After Walker made the group and with the thinking that Harrison will too, I believe it’s unlikely that Torreyes makes the club because he covers the exact same positions as those 2, mainly 2nd and third.
Garlick, a 28th round choice of the Dodgers in 2015, has a bit more power behind him and could be a power bat off the bench with Bruce as the DH. He doesn’t have much big league experience, simply 48 at-bats with Los Angeles in 2015.
Garlick, unlike Gosselin and Torreyes, is currently on the 40-man roster and the group liked him enough in February when they traded Tyler Gilbert, a previous 5th round choice who pitched well in AAA.
The Phillies might be able to keep one of these people on the taxi-squad if they’re not on the preliminary roster.
But, the unmentioned element in all of this is leading possibility Alec Bohm, who is not likely to make the initial lineup due to service time requirements. If he’s on the lineup in the first five games of the season, the Phillies will lose a full season of service time, which, is not worth it when you’re discussing the type of player Bohm might be for the team.
If Bohm signs up with the major league group after a week or two, somebody on the bench has to go to clear space. This could also describe the surprising release of Forsythe, who might have been an in-season roster cut who can now try to find work prior to final rosters are set.
Bohm will likely either start at third or DH, leaving Segura to DH or push Jay Bruce to the bench. There’s likewise a possibility they give him time at first and let Rhys Hoskins DH.
The club can’t have Bohm rest on the bench and lose game action and development time. If he’s on the major league team, he’s going to play. If you take Segura’s glove off the field, he strikes.300 as the DH, and Bohm develops at third, that may be your finest choice.
Bruce can provide Girardi a lefty bat and late-inning pop off the bench as a pinch-hitter for a DH’ing Segura or over among the center fielders.
With all of that being said, it seems like Gosselin might have the first chance to break the opening day roster over Garlick or Torreyes. He’s got more versatility as an outfielder and infielder, plus he’s carried out well for the team not simply in camp however last year as a bench bat.